Buchanan Rides Alone

Buchanan Rides Alone is a 1958 American Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Craig Stevens, and Barry Kelley. Based on the 1956 novel The Name's Buchanan by Jonas Ward, the film is about a Texan returning home with enough money to start his own ranch. When he stops in the crooked town of Agry, he is robbed and framed for murder.

Buchanan Rides Alone
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBudd Boetticher
Produced byHarry Joe Brown
Screenplay byCharles Lang
Based onThe Name's Buchanan
1956 novel
by Jonas Ward
CinematographyLucien Ballard
Edited byAl Clark
Producers-Actors Corp.
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • August 1, 1958 (1958-08-01) (USA)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States


On his way home from Mexico to West Texas, Tom Buchanan (Randolph Scott) rides into the Californian border town of Agry and into a feud between several members of the Agry family. Roy Agry is murdered, and Juan de la Vega is convicted and jailed pending his hanging. Buchanan is robbed of $2,000 by one of Sheriff Lew Agry's men. The Judge Simon Agry seeks a $50,000 bribe from Juan's family to spare Juan. Lew's men Lafe and Pecos escort Buchanan from town with orders to murder Buchanan. Buchanan connects with Pecos as both are from West Texas. Pecos shoots Lafe instead of Buchanan who offers to make Pecos a partner in the West Texas ranch he intends to buy. Lew has his men take Juan to a remote ranch so he can collect the $50,000 instead of Simon. Buchanan and Pecos surprise them, free Juan and ride for the border. Buchanan decides to return to Agry. Lew's men free themselves and ride after Pecos and Juan who have crossed the border into Mexico. Pecos is shot and dies. Juan is taken prisoner. Gomez who works for the de la Vega family returns to Simon's house with the ransom money. Simon sends his man Carbo to get Juan only to find the jail empty. Buchanan later surprises Lew in the jail and retrieves $1,700 and his gunbelt. Buchanan is then surprised by Lew's men in the jail and put in a cell with Juan. Amos goes to Simon's house looking for Lew to tell him that Juan is back in jail. After beating the truth out of Amos, Simon, Carbo and Amos return to town. Simon and Carbo find Gomez and Lew in a backroom of the saloon. Simon persuades Gomez to go with Carbo to the jail to make the exchange. The townsfolk who want a hanging march Simon to the jail. A melee occurs. Simon is taken prisoner by Juan, Gomez and Buchanan. Gomez is wounded and taken prisoner. The others flee with the money in a carriage that breaks down as they cross a bridge on the edge of town. The ransom money in saddlebags lies in the middle of the bridge. After a short standoff, Gomez is freed and crosses the bridge to the others. Simon is sent by Buchanan to retrieve the money, but shots break out and in the confusion, Lew deliberately shoots Simon. Buchanan goes to retrieve the money, but Lew gets the drop on him as Buchanan has run out of bullets. Carbo then confronts Lew, but Simon recovers enough to shoot Lew who then shoots Simon again. Buchanan takes the money and gives it to Juan. Carbo considers stopping him, but Buchanan tells him Agry is his town now and he doesn't want to start out by making a mistake. Juan gives his horse to Buchanan who rides for west Texas. [1]



Although the screenplay is credited to Charles Lang, his script was deemed unsuitable, so Boetticher asked his regular writer, Burt Kennedy, to rewrite the script. Because Lang's wife was gravely ill and he needed the money, Kennedy generously allowed him to take the salary and screen credit. In a 2001 interview at the Cinecon Film Festival, Boetticher confirmed that the script was Kennedy's work, noting that such lines as "This sure is a $10 town." and "Don't just stand there, Amos, get a shovel!" could only have been written by him.

A number of music score stock cues used in the production are the same as those used in the 1958-1961 TV series Sea Hunt, with stock music credits to Mischa Bakaleinikoff, George Duning, Heinz Roemheld, and Paul Sawtell.[2]

DVD release

In 2008 a DVD box set of five Budd Boetticher films starring Randolph Scott was released. Along with Buchanan Rides Alone the set includes Comanche Station, Decision at Sundown, Ride Lonesome, and The Tall T.

See also


  1. Nott, Robert. Last Of The Cowboy Heroes: The Westerns Of Randolph Scott, Joel Mccrea, And Audie Murphy. McFarland, 2005, p.128.
  2. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051437/combined
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